Monduran déjà vu
  |  First Published: March 2012

The heavens have opened up and the Fred Haigh Dam has tipped over again, in spectacular déjà vu.

We have just released around 100,000 barra fingerlings and we spent the time and released the fish in the upper-reaches of the lake, as we have found the best survival rates have been in these areas. The weed and the lantana seem to be the best coverage from prey like birds and other fish and this time we looked at releasing them in smaller schools hopefully this will result in better survival rates.

The fishing is still great as most of the nests of fish seem to be right up in the backs of creeks right up some 15km from the wall. This is possibly why so many fish have survived over there. I’m hoping to catch these fish some time next year when they will have grown to around 30-60cm long.

The metre plus fish left in Monduran seem to be an anomaly. Those of you who read last months mag would have seen the picture from my hummingbird 1198 side scan. These pictures of these larger fish are still about, but I can’t catch one. However, watch this space, as I am sure these fish will be enticed into taking an offering sooner or later.

I have been fishing the local Bundaberg creeks for some of my better barra. I must apologise about last months’ photos, those fish are out of the local creeks not Lake Monduran like suggested. Most of the fish in the dams are only 70-80cm.

The sad thing with recent rains is those creeks are in flood again, especially the Kolan River so this may take a couple of more weeks to settle down.

If you are fishing these creeks in the future try some of the soft plastics like the Squidgy Slick Rigs. It’s also worth trying the new area 51 jigheads in the plastic for better hook up rates. These plastics work great with a slow retrieve almost on the bottom in rock bars and deep water run areas where fish will hug up close to a steep bank. They also work well fished close to the bottom to avoid current flow in areas like at the mouths of the Kolan and the Baffle or the port area in the Burnett River.

It’s also worth trying blades and Transams on rock bars and deepwater drops and reefs. If you like trolling, some of the deeper Rapala range of lures work great not only on barra but plenty of by-catch like flathead, cod and jacks.

On the lake I prefer to use my favourite Rapala X-Raps. Other lures that work well are Sarunas, B52s, Tropical Anglers’ lures and most general type of shallow 10-15cm hardbodied lure that dives 1.5-2.5m.

My favourite colours are gold silver white or gold. However give everything a go, you only have to shake it in front of a barramundi’s nose for the perfect opinion.

I still love the hook up of the plastics; I love that electric shock that travels up the main line into the butt of the rod that connects to my body via my finger tips and then travels up my arm to my head and releases dopamine into the brain. It is an amazing, addictive feeling. Hook ups on Transams are my next favourite with a light tick that charges up the line like a small electric pulse and has the same affect on my little brain. You don’t have to look far to see many other people affected the same by the barramundi’s bite as they are all around.

The creeks and rivers haven’t seen a resurgence like this since the ‘70s with species like barra, threadfin salmon and hairtail coming back to the rivers like never before.

Offshore is still great, although the GBRMPA didn’t have to create green zones this year to protect the reefs, the weather has protected the reef perfectly, as I have only been out twice this summer. The months ahead can only get better, the weather is treacherous right through to March as the possibility of a cyclone moving down the Queensland coast is in the back of everyones’ mind. We can only hope that the gods will be kinder to us than they were last year.

I think we will fish right through the winter this year with the smaller 60-90cm fish being caught at Lake Monduran through most of the year. I can only hope the bigger fish will stick up their heads and have a go especially moving into September this year.

We offer some great charter opportunities for the keen barramundi angler and can take you on the lake chasing barramundi or hitting the creeks chasing jack and barra.

Check us out on our website at www.bundabergfishingcharters.com or phone us on 0427 590 995 or email at --e-mail address hidden-- I have been chartering on this dam for over 10 years now and still love the fishing.

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